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Drowning by the wolf moon's light

 

Tonight’s full moon is the wolf moon. The last full moon I honored was the blood moon. Blood and wolves, they go together like Scotch and ice, hugs and kisses or meat and bone. (Read a great post about the wolf moon.)

            Tonight I would open my throat to that moon and let it take my voice. I would lie down under the stars and beg the wolves to take me—make an offering of myself. Tonight I feel that I could peel off my skin and expose the hidden beast within, run wild through dark woods and summon dark magicks.

            The other night (like so many) I couldn’t sleep. Lay awake, staring into the dark and thinking, understanding again what is meant by a dark night of the soul. Since the wolf moon’s last appearance, my soul has waxed and waned a hundred times over, been eaten down to crumbs and scales, reborn and devoured again.

            2011 was my year of drowning. A collision smashed my craft and toppled me into the sea. I’m not a good swimmer. Have always relied on floaties, safety lines and keeping my toes in the sand. I floundered, grabbing for anything to pull me up and out, to save me.

Metaphorically I died. An ocean of tears closed over my head. I lost the will and the desire to breathe. Suffocation hurts, but I welcomed the pain and flickered in and out of consciousness. Hallucinating. Dreaming strange and beautiful dreams, dazzled by the visions and the lights. I waltzed with ghosts in slow, hypnotic spirals, dancing to the memory of music no longer playing. I surrendered to death because there was no choice but to endure the descent and lose sight of everything familiar. But my abyss was not the wasteland of dread I feared. Wonderful, magical creatures appeared to offer me air. They took my hands and guided me ever deeper into the darkness and the small, histrionic monsters I encountered there were not very powerful. Their dramatic displays of teeth and claws were just for show. I burst them like bubbles. I learned to swim and found that I could hold my breath for a very long time. I have inhabited every corner of grief and survived. “Death” was not what I expected.

The clenched fist inside my chest opens. My ribs part like gates to release showers of stars. Weightless, I return to the surface. At last, I can breathe deeply for the first time in many months. I have arrived. It’s not where I thought I’d end up but it’s so much better.

January is named for the Roman god Janus. This two-faced god, who looks to the past and the future is the guardian of transitions, beginnings and endings. Here again, we cross another threshold. On this January night of the wolf moon, we move through the doorway into a new year.

Did you sink last year or learn to swim? Tell me, will you offer yourself to the wolves tonight?